Right to religion and dignity for women in India: Constitutional and judicial articulation
Ajit Singh Chahal
As we know that a man is not complete without women because both men and women are two sides of the same coin and these are complementary to each other as well as women are the integral part of our society. Susan B Anthony, succinctly puts, “Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.” The societal attitudes too centre and revolve around the patriarchal mindset thereby derogating the status of women in the social and religious milieu. The framers of Indian Constitution has made a conscious effort to provide the women with adequate level of protection which would uplift and strengthen their position in society and their intention and effort apparently reflect in many articles of our constitution. The Constitutional framers by granting Fundamental Rights under Article 14, 15, 16, 17 and 25 have tried to convert the equality of women from de jure to de facto. But some orthodox people in the society are not able to digest this liberty and equality for women. In Indian Young LawyersAssociation and othersv. State of Kerala and others, the writ petition preferred under Article 32 of the Constitution seeks issuance of directions to ensure entry of female devotees between the age group of 10 to 50 years to the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala (Kerala) which has been denied to them on the basis of certain custom and usage. Petition is pending before the Supreme Court of India which likely to be decided in near future with an advantageous verdict. At this juncture, we have to take a view along with the Historical Perspective, Constituent Assembly Debates, the Constitution of India and some recent Judicial Articulations for epigrammatic examination in this research work.